Engine Regulations – For 2004
Here’s another puzzle that needs a degree of application to make
sense of. Our man Cybersdorf spotted the 2004 FIA prototype engine regulations
on the FIA website a few days ago – and left the Ed. to try and
make sense of them.
Here’s the first conclusion, helpfully pointed out by Michael Cotton:
these are FIA sportscar regulations, and although the main changes relate
to both engines and chassis (that thorny subject of reducing yaw / increasing
stability, which has been covered in some detail here in the past), the
engine changes are specifically FIA (SCC) engine rules for 2004, not
ACO (or combined FIA/ACO) engine rules. They are FIA engine rules.
an apparent obligation for the ACO to adopt the FIA chassis
rules for next year, in the interests of safety, but as far
as we know, the ACO can implement their own engine rules….when
they announce their 2004 plans at, or before, Sebring.
The FIA rules
are specifically for SR1 and SR2 cars, the former continuing
with a six litre normally aspirated (four litre turbo) maximum
displacement, and a minimum weight of 900 kg.
the FIA SR2 rules that see the engine changes, although the
minimum weight does go up by 30kg, to 750 kg. Three litre,
six cylinder engines remain as before (based on volume production
units), turbo charged production engines are not allowed, but
in come Group N and Group N-GT engines: up to 4.2 litre normally
aspirated or 2.7 litre turbo charged. N-GT engines such as
the 911 GT3-RS flat six were first proposed many months ago,
but the purpose of allowing them in is hard to fathom at the
moment – and they don’t seem evenly matched. The
Porsche engine, for example, looks to have a significant advantage
over a current, three litre V6, and would need a significant
degree of further ‘restricting’ to make it comparable.
Purchase costs are higher too.
Are SR2 cars
viable homes for a manufacturer’s engines anyway (any
more than a DP)? SR2 used to be a market for specialist chassis
manufacturers and specialist engine builders….
tried to make clear here is that it is wrong to assume that
these engine regs. apply to ACO sanctioned events. The ACO
will announce their (LMP1 / LMP2) rules at / before Sebring,
and we won’t second guess what they will announce.
anticipation that we sense here is based on the 675s really
coming to grips with the 900s, almost for the first time. We
fervently hope that this ‘balance of power’ remains
in the future.
largely avoids reference to the FIA ‘keel’ required
for new chassis next year, and when asked about plans for current
(flat bottom) chassis in 2004, the ACO’s Sport Delegate
Gerard Gachet told Andrew Cotton recently that “we’re
working on that issue, and it’s part of the discussion
between the ACO, the FIA and the constructors….”